Nevada is not only the hot spring capital of the world, but we’re also home to some pretty epic swimming holes. These natural swimming spots flow in the form of whitewater parks, spring-fed pools, creeks and scenic reservoirs.
If you’re looking for a fun way to spend a summer day with family or friends, consider taking a dip in any of these Nevada swimming holes. Some may require a road trip or a hike. Others are located in your neighborhood. All are a refreshing way to cool off from the heat of summer.
1. Sparks Marina Park – Sparks
With a beach and a designated swimming area with lifeguards, Sparks Marina Lake is among Nevada's popular swimming holes. There are even areas for non-power boats, fishing and walking.
2. McGill Pool – Ely, McGill
A swimming pool fed by a natural spring, McGill Pool has a slide, diving boards and a sandy beach. This swimming hole is located 12 miles north of Ely on RT 93 at Dairy Road and Main Street.
3. Truckee River Whitewater Park – Reno
People of all ages enjoy swimming and playing at this 11-pool Truckee River attraction, located in the middle of Reno. Explore the waters by kayak, canoe, raft or tube; or cool off and make a splash.
4. Whitewater Park at Rock Park – Sparks
Downstream from the Reno whitewater park, Whitewater Park at Rock Park in Sparks offers five drop pools for kayaking, tubing, and rafting. Located at 1515 S. Rock Blvd., it also features safe water play areas for children and families.
5. Cave Lake State Park – Ely
The 32-acre Cave Lake reservoir makes a fantastic Nevada swimming hole. Fishing, boating, hiking, camping and picnicking are also popular activities here. The park is located eight miles south of Ely off U.S. 93.
6. Diver's Cove at Sand Harbor Beach – Incline Village, Lake Tahoe
A secluded bay at the popular Sand Harbor Beach, Diver’s Cove offers shade from the trees and huge rocks for diving.
7. Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area – Laughlin
With 20 years as a state park, Big Bend is part of the Colorado River. It is beautifully situated among the mountains at 4220 S Needles Hwy 3. A great place to swim, the water is usually warm and there are tons of beaches.
8. Oak Creek – Las Vegas
This natural spring is located about one mile down the Oak Creek Trail at Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area (and is typically only full due to rainfall or melting snow). Take the Scenic Loop to Oak Creek Trail. It’s the last turn-out in the 13-mile, one-way loop.
9. First Creek – Las Vegas
Deepest in the spring (with levels varying, and sometimes empty, depending upon rain and snow fall), this swimming hole includes a waterfall. It is located outside of the Red Rock Canyon park entrance, between the park and Spring Mountain Ranch. The hike is about two miles round-trip.
10. Angel Lake – Wells
While the water may be cold, you can swim with gorgeous views of the surrounding cliffs—or follow the hiking trails to find other swimming holes. Located in the East Humboldt Mountain Range, the area includes many campgrounds and picnic spots.
11. Wild Horse Reservoir - Elko
Located along the Owyhee River in northeastern Nevada, Wild Horse Reservoir has a small swimming beach on its northeastern shore.
12. Colorado River Beach – Goldstrike Canyon
Just downstream from Hoover Dam, this swimming hole is normally accessible at the end of a 4-mile trail past Goldstrike Hot Springs. It’s a small rocky beach with clear water that’s great for swimming. The trailhead is located off Exit 2 (for Hoover Dam) about .3 miles past the Hoover Dam Lodge on US 93/95.
The trail is closed May through September, but the river (part of the Black Canyon Water Trail) is still accessible for swimming near an old mining town in Eldorado Canyon.